Another 13 killed, 3 sustain injuries in Plateau
• Gov. Lalong condemns attack, vows to punish perpectrators
As the government and security agencies are trying to find a solution to the incessant attack on innocent citizens in Mangu local government area of Plateau State, another 13 were killed on Wednesday by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in the council.
The local government for quite sometimes now has been grappling with insecurity. Towards the last quarter of last year, no fewer than ten people were killed including district heads and brother to the former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu.
A source close to the local government revealed that gunmen armed with sophisticated weapons numbering about 20 invaded the neighbouring Pankshin council area on Wednesday at about 8:00 pm and rustled a large number of cows.
According to the source, as they were moving the cows to their destination, the rustlers were intercepted by some youths in Kerang, Mangu local government who had got wind of their atrocity adding that in the encountered that ensued, the youths were able to arrest seven of the rustlers and recovered some cows from them.
“It was a tough battle between the youths and the rustlers. In the end, seven of them were arrested and some of the cows recovered from them. Both the cows and the suspects were handed over to the police in Kerang” he said.
He added that those who escaped went on a shooting spree and later killed thirteen people at Kulben village in Kombun district in the same council area adding that the bodies of those killed had been deposited at the Mangu Cottage Hospital.
The member representing Mangu South in the State Assembly Hon. Bala Fwengje who confirmed that 13 people were killed and three injured said the attack was a rude shock to the people of the local government and called on the government and security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the act.
In a swift reaction to the killings, Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong has condemned in strong terms the killing of innocent persons following an attack by gunmen at Kulben village in Kombun district of Mangu Local Government on Wednesday.
The Governor described the attack as another attempt to puncture the peace that has gradually returned to the State and warned that his administration will not sit down and watch any group or individuals cause chaos in the State and return it to the dark days of insecurity.
He said “We have toiled to ensure that peace returns to Plateau State and we will not allow anyone to make nonsense our efforts. We are determined to deal decisively and firmly with anybody found culpable in attacking or inciting people to carry out attacks against one another”.
He commended security agencies for arresting 7 suspects connected to the killings and restoring normalcy to the area and assured that thorough investigations will be carried out to get to the bottom of the matter as anyone found wanting will face the full wrath of the law.
The Governor called for calm and advised against reprisals as Government is dealing with the situation adding that those injured have been taken to general hospital Mangu and are responding to treatment.
However, the State Police Public Relation Officer DSP Mathias Terna Tyopev simply confirmed the attack but did not give the figure of the casualty. ” I can only confirm the attack, for now, I will give you the figure later,” he said.